Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit
For many years, military personnel and their families stationed at Camp Lejeune faced dangerous water contamination exposure. This led to devastating health consequences, including cancer, Parkinson’s, and more. In 2022, after years of hard-fought advocacy, Camp Lejeune water contamination victims finally achieved a sense of justice with the passing of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. Thanks to this new law, victims may now file new lawsuits and recover compensation for the exposure.
At Chris Hudson Law Group, our experienced injury attorneys help Camp Lejeune water contamination victims seek the compensation they deserve. If you are a Marine or a service member’s family member affected by water contamination at Camp Lejeune, contact us today by calling (706) 863-6600 and learn more about how our Camp Lejeune attorneys can help.
What Happened at Camp Lejeune?
For decades, service members and their families living and working at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina faced exposure to dangerous chemicals in the contaminated potable water. An independent study discovered high levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like benzene, vinyl chloride, and perchloroethylene in the Tarawa Terrace and Hadnot Point water treatment plants on Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987. These water treatment plants supplied water to the barracks, residential areas, medical centers, and administrative buildings. Years later, people who served, lived, and worked at Camp Lejeune face diagnoses of chronic illnesses, cancers, and other serious health conditions.
The contamination likely originated from unsafe chemical storage onsite and offsite at a nearby industrial property. Unfortunately, Camp Lejeune administrators and the federal government knew of the risk of contamination for years. Still, they failed to warn or protect those who lived, served, and worked at Camp Lejeune.
What Toxins Were Found in the Camp Lejeune Water?
Two major toxins discovered at Camp Lejeune that harm the health of those exposed are perchloroethylene (PCE) and trichloroethylene (TCE). PCE is used in dry cleaning that causes liver damage, bladder cancer, multiple myeloma, kidney cancer, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. TCE is in refrigerants, solvents, and insecticides and shows linkage to various health conditions, including congenital heart conditions in newborns. In addition to PCE and TCE, other toxic chemicals discovered in the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune include benzene, vinyl chloride, and mercury.
Camp Lejeune VOC Exposure Health Risks
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other global safety organizations recognize volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as potential hazards to human health. Exposure to VOCs may lead to short-term health effects, such as eye and throat irritation, nausea, dizziness, and long-term health complications, such as cancer and damage to vital organs. When someone is exposed in large amounts or consistently across a long period of time, the risk of exposure complications and side effects increases. Health conditions caused by VOC exposure include:
- Kidney Cancer
- Bladder Cancer
- Breast Cancer
- Liver Cancer
- Ovarian Cancer
- Esophageal Cancer
- Lung Cancer
- Infertility, Miscarriage, and Birth Defects
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Hepatic Steatosis
- Multiple Myeloma
- Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
- Renal Toxicity
- Myelodysplastic Syndromes
Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2021
Signed into law by President Joe Biden on August 10, 2022, The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2021-2022 allows veterans to file civil lawsuits against the government for harm caused by toxic water exposure. Part of the broader Honoring our PACT Act of 2021, this law stops the U.S. Government from claiming immunity in civil lawsuits concerning Camp Lejeune water contamination.
Camp Lejeune water contamination victims may file administrative claims with the Department of Justice seeking compensation for medical expenses related to their exposure. Once a claim is submitted, the Navy JAG and Tort Claims Unit must adjudicate the claim within six months and pay out a settlement if validated. If a claimant refuses the government’s offer or cannot reach an agreement for settlement, the claimant can file a lawsuit in the US District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act brings justice to those who suffered from the devastating effects of Camp Lejeune water contamination. This Act helps ensure service members and civilians receive fair compensation for their illnesses and disabilities caused by the negligent actions of the United States Government.
What Types of Compensation Are Available in a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?
From medical bills to emotional distress, individuals affected by toxic substances in the drinking water at Camp Lejeune may seek compensation for their losses. Types of recompense potentially available include:
- Medical Expenses: Reimbursement for medical expenses related to treatment and care, including hospital visits, prescription drugs, physical therapy, and more
- Lost Income: Compensation for wages lost due to illness or disability caused by toxic water
- Pain and Suffering: Payment for physical pain and emotional distress experienced
- Wrongful Death: Families of those who lost their lives because of toxin exposure at Camp Lejeune may be able to file a wrongful death claim
Recovering financial compensation for the harm caused by Camp Lejeune’s water contamination requires a thorough understanding of the applicable laws and the facts of your case. Victims may benefit from speaking with an experienced Camp Lejeune attorney familiar with these cases. The Camp Lejeune lawyers of Chris Hudson Law Group advocate for toxic contamination exposure victims and fight for the compensation they deserve.
Who Can Recover Compensation From a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?
Those living and working at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, that suffered illness due to water contamination may join the Camp Lejeune contaminated water lawsuit. This includes veterans, Camp Lejeune staff, and relatives of veterans who also lived at Camp Lejeune during that period.
The claimant must show they received a diagnosis or experienced a qualifying medical condition due to their exposure to the toxins. Unfortunately, military personnel who were dishonorably discharged and their family members do not qualify for compensation.
How to File a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit
The first step in pursuing compensation from the government for losses suffered due to the toxic water at Camp Lejeune is filing a claim with the Office of the Judge Advocate General (JAG) of the Navy’s Tort Claims Unit (TCU). The claim form for the Camp Lejeune Justice Act asks for details on the claimant’s background, the basis of the claim, the nature and extent of the injury, and the dollar amount of the claim.
Before submitting your claim, consult with an attorney knowledgeable about Camp Lejeune claims early for help determining the true monetary value of your losses and completing the claims form. Under the terms of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, claimants only have two years to file a lawsuit. This law went into effect on August 10, 2020, so the time period ends on August 10, 2024. By obtaining legal assistance and filing your claim promptly, you may recover the compensation you deserve for your suffering due to Camp Lejeune’s water contamination.
Does Filing a Claim under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act Affect VA Benefits?
No, filing a claim under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act does not affect VA benefits, according to the VA. Veterans who already received or still receive VA benefits and compensation for their illnesses and injuries still have the right to sue.
How a Camp Lejeune Lawyer Can Help
When individuals and families affected by Camp Lejeune water contamination seek compensation for the harm caused, the guidance of an experienced attorney is vital. At Chris Hudson Law Group, we represent victims of contaminated drinking water from Camp Lejeune and of negligence at other military bases. We understand the complexities of pursuing compensation from the U.S. Government and are committed to advocating for our clients. Ways in which a Camp Lejeune lawyer helps those seeking justice include:
- Analyze Your Case:
Chris Hudson Law Group team carefully reviews all facts and evidence to analyze the case and determine whether the plaintiff has a viable claim under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2021.
- Develop a Legal Strategy:
We develop a legal strategy tailored to your unique circumstances.
- Prepare Documentation:
Our lawyers prepare all the necessary documents and paperwork for a successful claim, including everything from gathering medical records to collecting witness statements.
- Negotiate With Insurance Companies:
We have extensive experience negotiating with insurance companies on behalf of our clients. Our attorneys work hard for a favorable settlement that covers all your damages.
- Represent You in Court:
If necessary, Chris Hudson Law Group will take your case to trial and fight vigorously on your behalf.
If you suffered illness due to water contamination at Camp Lejeune, contact the dedicated Camp Lejeune lawyers of Chris Hudson Law Group today. Our experienced team of attorneys helps veterans and their families get the justice they deserve. We will fight aggressively for full and fair compensation for your injuries and protect your rights throughout the process.
Speak With a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Attorney Today
The experienced team of injury attorneys at Chris Hudson Law Group provides victims of Camp Lejeune with the legal assistance they need. Contact our Camp Lejeune water contamination lawyers today for a free consultation by calling (706) 863-6600 and begin the process of pursuing justice and compensation today.